It seems that everyone is jumping on the mobile band wagon with their sites, either with a responsive theme design or at least a mobile version of their blog. There are good reasons I have not converted BlogAid to a mobile version and don’t plan to any time soon. Read on to discover why and how to take your site through the same checklist I used to see if a mobile version is something that will help or hurt your site.
By the Numbers
Google Analytics offers some of the best feedback you can get about your site. Not only can you see what content is drawing the most traffic, you can also see the type of device folks are using to view it.
In the case of BlogAid the ratio of computer to mobile viewers is 200:1. Yep, you read that right. 200 times more people are viewing BlogAid on a laptop or desktop than on a mobile device. That alone is enough for me to table the idea of going mobile.
Seek and Ye Shall Find
Another thing Google Analytics tells me is that 75% of the traffic to BlogAid is new viewers. My new client list bears this out too. More than half of the folks who hire me found BlogAid via a Google search. In the past six months, that type of new business has been quickly overtaking word-of-mouth referrals, which have always been high. So, it’s a significant increase in leads.
Obviously folks are searching for the type of services, classes, and info I offer while they are at home or in the office and not on-the-go with their mobile device. One way I know this because more and more folks are finding BlogAid on YouTube. When they are seeking WordPress video tutorials, they are usually at their main computer and logged in to their WordPress site. That’s just not something folks do on their phone.
Loss of Leads
One of the other main reasons that the BlogAid blog doesn’t have a mobile version is loss of leads. On most mobile blog versions, the sidebar is not present. I give away a lot of super info on BlogAid that folks download by the dozens every single day. Those links are in the sidebar. It’s not in my best interest to remove those offers from the very content that brought someone to my site.
Loss of Layout
The biggest percentage of the new visitor traffic from Google to BlogAid lands on pages with WordPress tutorials or videos. If those posts were in a mobile version, the alignment of the screenshot images or the video may not display properly.
Another Kind of No Follow
With a mobile blog version, there’s no good way for folks to be invited to follow me on social media sites. That would allow me to continually put good content in front of them and alert them to breaking news that affects their site.
Yeah, there are ways to put social media icons on a mobile version, but they are not good in my opinion. I especially dislike the ones down the side that cover up the content. So, if you’re using a mobile version of your blog and using one of those social slider thingies, maybe you should go see how it looks on a few mobile devices including an iPhone, an Android phone, and on a tablet or two, like iPad.
Crazy RSS Feed
Some plugins that folks use for creating a mobile version of their blog send a crazy RSS feed URL that can’t be subscribed to directly by those using Google Reader and not at all by those who prefer to subscribe to posts via email. If your site is using a mac.reader feed on your mobile version, don’t complain that you have few subscribers. You’re making it too hard for them to do.
Now you know why BlogAid doesn’t have a mobile version and why I’m not jumping to a responsive theme design either. How about you? Do you know how people are reading your site? Do you know if you are missing valuable leads with the way you have it set up? Are you missing subscribers to your newsletter or RSS feed? Can folks easily follow you on social sites?